On the pain spectrum, it is said that the pain of childbirth is equivalent to having 20 bones being fractured simultaneously! So, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise then that people do wonder – is there anything that could hurt even worse than the pain of bringing a child into this world? Well, turns out there is. In fact, there are 9 conditions that could have the dubious honor of claiming that statement. Curious to know just what these excruciating conditions are? Read on!
1. Migraines Or Cluster Headaches
A neurological condition that produces a multitude of symptoms, migraines are usually characterized by their debilitating and intense headaches that can last for hours on end (1). This condition often happens to run in families and can strike at any age. It’s also accompanied by symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, difficulty talking, sensitivity to sound and light, and tingling or numbness. They also happen to be more common in women than in men.
2. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
This condition generally appears after a surgery or an injury and it’s not yet well understood by the medical community. But what doctors do know is that patients can expect pain and swelling, and it usually affects one’s bones and skin. The pain is so notoriously intense that some patients with severe cases have had limbs amputated to get some relief!
3. Kidney Stones
Medically referred to as “renal calculi,” kidney stones are basically solid masses composed of crystals that can usually be found in one’s kidneys. However, they can also be found anywhere along one’s urinary tract like in their urethra, bladder or ureters, for example (2). Kidney stones are particularly infamous in the medical world, and are commonly acknowledged as one of the most excruciatingly painful medical conditions ever by its patients. Those who suffer from this debilitating condition can also expect to experience chills, fevers, vomiting, and nausea that can last for months.
4. Urinary Tract Infections
Yep, we know it sounds rather pedestrian or plain-vanilla if you like, but trust us – if you’ve ever had to suffer a urinary tract infection, then you know this isn’t a condition to be scoffed at! In certain cases, this infection can cause a burning, sharp pain that can be felt throughout one’s abdomen (3). Additionally, the infection also has the potential to spread to one’s bladder or kidneys, both of which are much more complicated infections to treat.
5. Anorectal Abscess
Now, you’ll have to bear with us for a bit as this condition is just a little bit, well, gross. However, if you do happen to develop a pus-filled swelling or abscess within your anal region, which also produces an excruciating amount of pain, then you’ll know you’re suffering from a dreaded anorectal abscess.
Patients with this condition are reported as being rendered incapable of sitting or moving around, and to make matters even worse, the treatment (involving an incision and drainage) is just about as terribly painful as the disease.
6. Pudendal Neuralgia
This serious and rather rare condition is a very literal pain in one’s butt! Pudendal neuralgia is basically caused when the pudendal nerve located in one’s pelvis gets pinched, thereby producing excruciating pain and a loss of control of one’s bladder and bowel movement.
According to an American survey of patients living with gout, close to two-thirds of the patients suffering this disease daily referred to it as “the worst pain possible” (4). Once called the “rich man’s disease,” gout is characterized by joint pain and swelling, which are usually as a result of an unhealthy diet. It principally attacks a patient’s big toe, thereby making it extremely sensitive for walking or even socks.
8. Trigeminal Neuralgia (Aka. Fothergill’s Disease)
More common in the older population, yet extremely painful for anybody, trigeminal neuralgia is produced due to the inflammation of the trigeminal nerve located in the face. This produces a characteristic stabbing, sharp pain between one’s eye and one’s jaw. This pain, in addition to the fact that the cure is successful in only 8 out of 10 patients, has been known to lead to depression.
Gallstones, just like the previously discussed kidney stones, develop inside one’s body. However, instead of the urinary tract, these form in the gallbladder from one’s bile (5). Fortunately, in a majority of the cases, these typically small stones produce zero pain and are overall harmless. However, in some cases, gallstones can be fatal and the pain and irritation can produce sharp back pain, nausea, and vomiting.
There you have it – 9 medical conditions that are as, and sometimes more, painful than childbirth itself! Do share with us what you think of this article in the comments below. Oh, and don’t forget to share this post with loved ones and friends!